Today is Sunday, July 18, the 199th day of 2021. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today in history

On July 18, 1918, South African anti-apartheid leader and president Nelson Mandela was born in the village of Mvezo.

Also on this date:

In 1863, during the Civil War, Union troops spearheaded by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, made up of Black soldiers, charged Confederate-held Fort Wagner on Morris Island, S.C. The Confederates were able to repel the Northerners, who suffered heavy losses; the 54th’s commander, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, was among those who were killed.

In 1940, the Democratic National Convention at Chicago Stadium nominated President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who was monitoring the proceedings at the White House) for an unprecedented third term in office; earlier in the day, Eleanor Roosevelt spoke to the convention, becoming the first presidential spouse to address such a gathering.

Fun fact

Some rice farmers in Thailand use a swarm of about 10,000 ducks to clean up their fields after harvesting. Known as “ped lai thoong” or “field chasing ducks,” the ducks eat the snails and leftover husks making it easier to plow all while avoiding the use of pesticides.

Just for laughs

Every morning when I leave the house for work, I get hit by the same bike. Every morning! What a vicious cycle.

Trending words

“Mercantile:” adjective. Definition: Of or relating to merchants or trading.

— Merriam-Webster

Today’s birthdays

Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 92. Olympic gold medal figure skater Tenley Albright is 86. Movie director Paul Verhoeven is 83. Musician Brian Auger is 82. Singer Dion DiMucci is 82. Actor James Brolin is 81. Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre is 81. Singer Martha Reeves is 80. Pop-rock musician Wally Bryson (The Raspberries) is 72. Country-rock singer Craig Fuller (Pure Prairie League) is 72. Business mogul Richard Branson is 71. Actor Margo Martindale is 70. Singer Ricky Skaggs is 67. Actor Audrey Landers is 65. World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Faldo is 64. Actor Elizabeth McGovern is 60. Talk show host-actor Wendy Williams is 57. Actor Vin Diesel is 54. Actor Grant Bowler is 53. Retired NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway is 50. Actor Eddie Matos is 49. Dance music singer-songwriter M.I.A. is 46. Rock musician Daron Malakian (System of a Down; Scars on Broadway) is 46. Rock musician Tony Fagenson (formerly with Eve 6) is 43. Movie director Jared Hess is 42. Actor Jason Weaver is 42. Actor Kristen Bell is 41. Actor Michiel Huisman is 40. Rock singer Ryan Cabrera is 39. Actor Priyanka Chopra is 39. Actor Chace Crawford is 36. Actor James Norton is 36. Actor Travis Milne is 35.

The Edge is compiled by Dallas Marshall. She can be contacted at